Life insurance is a financial safety net for your partner, your kids, your life...Read more
Five tasty and healthy summer grilling recipes
Win summer with these healthy grilling recipes
It’s summertime, and the eating is … healthy? Not necessarily: An endless parade of beer, burgers and hot dogs is hardly a recipe for feeling like your best self.
But that’s no reason to forgo one of summer’s great treats — grilling.
Below we have five simple ideas for grilling — they’re quick and easy, healthy and flavorful, regardless of whether the flavors you like are traditional American, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern…
Whether you’re cooking a weeknight dinner in under 30 minutes on your outdoor grill, or just want a summer meal you can enjoy at your leisure, these healthy dinners are just the thing. These all work with a variety of seasonings, so get prepared for your tastiest — and possibly healthiest — summer yet. Fire up the grill…
In this article:
Grilled chicken breast
Boneless chicken thighs are probably the best cut of chicken for grilling: good fat, hard to overcook. Chicken breast is, of course, better for you. But how to avoid it getting dry on the grill without marinating it in huge amounts of oil?
The answer is to brine the chicken. When the breasts spend a little time in the solution, they absorb enough liquid to avoid drying out when grilled. Note that they are likely to require less salt than usual when cooking, perhaps even none.
- Make a simple brine of 1/4 cup kosher salt dissolved in 4 cups water at room temperature.
- Submerge chicken breasts in the brine for half an hour.
- Remove chicken, pat dry, grill with the rub of your choice.
All kinds of vegetables respond well to grilling, but zucchini is one of the easiest grilled veggies to make. It’s moist enough that it won’t dry out if your grill technique is imprecise. And it tastes good at all temperatures, so you can cook it at the start of the grilling process and eat it at room temperature, or cook it toward the end while the meat rests.
- Cut zucchini lengthwise into pieces about 1/2 thick
- Cook them for 3 or 4 minutes per side – try not to move them as they cook, and just turn them once: That way you’ll get pretty grill marks.
- Once cooked, adds a little salt, toss them in some olive oil or vinaigrette, scatter on some herbs, throw some cheese on them… whatever you like, really.
Fish directly on the grill
Fish is healthy, but fear is not, and a lot of people are scared of grilling the ocean’s bounty. It’s true that it requires more care than grilling meat, because the window of tasty doneness for fish is smaller than it is for a steak or a burger). But it’s not that hard if you prep right.
Use skin-on fillets. The skin adds flavor, protects at least one side of the fish, and should make it easier to remove from the grill when you’re ready to serve it. Note that thicker (1/2 inch or so) filets are easier to work with, as they have a better chance of acquiring a nice char on the outside without getting dry in the middle.
- Make sure the grill is hot, otherwise the fish won’t develop a crust and will be hard to flip.
- Cut some shallow, diagonal slashes into the fish’s skin (this is to prevent the skin from curling the fish as the skin contracts during cooking).
- Rub olive oil on both sides of the fish so it’s less inclined to stick to the grill, and season both sides with salt.
- Place the fish skin side up on the grill and cook it until you see a char (you can gently lift up one end and peek under it to check this).
- Once it has a char, carefully flip it and finish cooking it skin side down, until the skin has crisped up.
- Remove from the grill. If the non-skin side came away smoothly from the grill and looks pretty, serve the fish that way up. If it came apart and looks terrible, serve the fish skin side up — either with the skin still on, or with it carefully removed. (Either way, it’ll look nice.)
Fish in leaves or foil
Another, easier way to cook fish on the grill is to wrap it in either leaves (such as banana leaves, which can be found in Asian groceries, or grape leaves, available from Greek purveyors and online). Or use tin foil.
Tin foil, since it’s so well sealed, will give you less smoky flavor than leaves, though it’s worth noting that putting things in foil is a good way to accommodate non-meat eaters when you have a small grill.
- Whether you wrap your fish in foil or leaves, the procedure is the same: Rub the fish with a little oil, season it with salt, pepper, herbs, or the rub of your choice.
- Throw the wrapped-up fish on the grill.
- Check for doneness by carefully (because: hot steam) opening one packet and, using a fork, digging a little bit of fish from the middle of the filet.
- Note: Make sure that this checked-for-doneness piece of fish is eaten by a host, since it won’t look as nice as the other pieces
Hear us out: You already know lettuce is healthy, but unless you’ve eaten it grilled, you’re probably unaware of quite how delicious it can be once it’s picked up a char, some smoke and a slight sweetness from the coals.
Grilled lettuce is versatile: You can use the leaves in a salad or as a burger topping, or, better yet, throw some toppings on the lettuce and eat it as a side. Toppings can be as simple as oil, vinegar and parmesan; a more complex vinaigrette; nuts; ham; or combinations of the above. Stronger flavors, like fish-sauce-based vinaigrettes, also work well.
- Take a romaine lettuce heart and slice it in half lengthwise.
- Brush the cut sides with olive oil and sprinkle on a little salt.
- Grill over moderate heat until charred and softened.
About Michael DavisRead more by Michael Davis
Our editorial policy
Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.
Our editorial policy
Haven Life is a customer centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.
Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less hard if they are a fit for your situation.
Haven Life is not authorized to give tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seed advice from their own tax or legal counsel.
Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by the C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.
MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of Aril 1, 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.
Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is included as part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits at no cost or at a discount. The rider is not available in every state and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made accessible under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party vendors (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, please visit: https://havenlife.com/plus
What our customers are saying
Sep 8, 2023
User friendly platform and very easy…
User friendly platform and very easy application process! Super content with Haven Life , consider them when shopping for a policy.
–Gabby Santosread more at
Aug 11, 2023
The ease of the process and speed in getting my application approved was terrific. Highly recommend using them for your insurance needs.
–Martinread more at
Aug 10, 2023
Simple and well-designed process for buying life insurance
Life insurance is an industry that seems stuck in the past - things like completing an application, filling out paperwork, scheduling medical exams, etc. are not handled online at many companies. At Haven Life all of this can be done and tracked online, and I hope that others in the industry will follow suit. Other positives include that pricing was competitive and easily available through an easy online quote. It was also possible to adjust the specifics of the policy throughout the process, even after underwriting was complete - changing my mind on one small detail did not require restarting the process. The underwriting process proceeded quickly. I was easily able to gain access to my lab results online. Etc. The process was easy at every step.
–Calvinread more at
Jul 27, 2023
5 STARS!⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ They made everything…
5 STARS!⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ They made everything simple, seamless and positive.
–Kayla Counselbaumread more at
Jul 12, 2023
Quick and Easy
Simple process, fast approval with out any exam.
–Colleen McKennaread more at